Thursday, March 12, 2009

Involving Your Customers in Your Philanthropy

Businesses have the advantage of an instant customer network and employee base that can increase the size of the donation to charity.
Why not sit down and start brainstorming creative ideas for ways to raise money for a charity through your customer base? If you have employees, sit down together at a break and just start throwing ideas around. You will be amazed at the clever ideas that people will come up and will not cost you a lot of time and effort.
Here are some common and not so common ways that you can engage you customers and clients and employees to support your favorite causes.

1. Sponsor a matching fund for a cause through your business. Studies have shown that donations increase from individuals when they know they are being matched by a business. There is the psychology of feeling part of something when an individual dollar is doubled. Interestingly, donations do not increase if the the matching donations are more than doubled.

2.Hold a raffle and donate all the proceeds to a charity

3. Sponsor an event that is fun, like a wine tasting, or fashion show, casino night or art show and ask for donations, or have people buy tickets to the event.

4. Hold a contest that people have to pay to enter and donate proceeds to a charity. (remember the old jelly beans in the jar contest, and they get the jelly beans?)

5. Give out something for free if people sign up to volunteer or donate. This works great for food drives.

6. Organize a customer volunteer day for a local charity. People love to feel part of a group.

7. Have customers sponsor you in a charity run or walk. Better yet, have your business sponsor someone to run or walk in a fundraising event.

8. The familiar method of collecting spare change for a charity at the cash register still works great.

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